On Thematic Concepts and Methodological (Epistemological) Themata
The concept of themata is transdisciplinary, bridging the domains of science and the humanities.
Themata are basic elements of thought, usually taking the form of dyadic oppositions. They have
several uses, among which a thematic concept and a methodological (epistemological) thema
appear to be the most important ones in the theory of social representations. A thematic concept,
as used in social representations, refers to the content and transformation of a specific dyadic
opposition, for example, moral/immoral or man/woman. A methodological (epistemological)
thema is a guiding principle of the discipline, which organizes and directs the issues of study
along a specific perspective, for example, along analysis/synthesis or the Self/Other. While
acknowledging the importance of a thematic concept, this article will emphasize the
methodological or epistemological role of a thema. Specifically, it will focus on the Self/Other as
a basic epistemological thema of the dialogical approach in social representations.